Written by: Jan Carla Santos
11/04/2011 12:30 PM
Thanksgiving Day has long been synonymous with having a big, fat, juicy turkey on the table. There are no records to confirm whether the Pilgrims feasted on turkey on their first Thanksgiving Day, a celebration for a bountiful harvest, in 1621. One certain thing though is that, since Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving Day, turkey has been part of the American family's Thanksgiving tradition. The turkey has been the star of the Thanksgiving table for centuries past and according to the National Turkey Federation, around 90% of Americans observe Thanksgiving with that plump bird, prepared many different ways.
But, let's be honest here, do thoughts of having turkey, with or without the requisite cranberry jelly sauce, still excite you to celebrate Thanksgiving? Perhaps this year, instead of having yet another Turkey Day, we can cook up something different, yet still festive and delicious. Prepare any of these recipes we have for you, and your family and friends will surely thank you for it!
1. Roast Duck Breasts with Pomegranate-Chile Sauce (Source: Epicurious.com)
Unlike most poultry meat breasts that usually dry out, duck breasts are juicy, succulent and they easily absorb the juices and sauces cooked with it. The pomegranate-chile sauce in this recipe gives a wonderful interplay of sweet and spicy flavors that will tickle your guests' palate.
Serves 6Preparation time: 40 minutesCooking time: 13 minutes
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over low heat before using.
* Available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Latin markets.** Dried, smoked jalapeños in a spicy tomato sauce called adobo; available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Latin markets.
2. Roast Stuffed Rabbit (Source: RabbitRecipes.net)
Rabbit meat, with its rich and sweetish taste, is surprisingly lean and packed with protein. This recipe has a remarkable Oriental flavor that is a welcome deviation from the usual Western taste.
Serves 6Preparation time: 45 minutesCooking time: 1.5 hours
3. To Die for Crock Pot Roast (Source: Food.com)
It may be presumptuous to label one's own recipe "To Die for Crock Pot Roast", but more than a thousand 5-star votes would tell you that the person behind the recipe knew what he/she was doing. Amazingly, the recipe calls for 5 minutes of preparation and 9 hours of cooking time - slow cooking at its finest!
Serves 4Preparation time: 5 minutesCooking time : 9 hours
4. Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Balsamic-Fig-Basil Sauce (Source: Allrecipes.com)
Not only is lamb flavorful, it is also rich in protein (loaded with 8 essential amino acids), selenium and zinc. How's that for serving something really delectable and healthy this holiday? The playful mix of balsamic, fig and basil in the sauce adds a festive flavor to the meat.
Serves 6Preparation time: 50 minutesCooking time: 1 hour
5. The Ultimate Pork Crown Roast (Source: foodnetwork.com)
Here's yet another recipe labeled in its superlative. Try this on Thanksgiving and have your family tell you what they think. The herbs (thyme and fresh sage) and garlic rubbed on the pork enhance the meat's flavor. And the apple pecan stuffing makes this pork crown roast the embodiment of a celebratory dish.
Serves 12-14Preparation time: 15 minutesInactive time: 3 hoursCooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Apple Pecan Stuffing
While it is perfectly fine to be loyal to tradition, we should also learn to shake things up from time to time. So this year, surprise your loved ones by bringing a new recipe to your Thanksgiving spread. Enjoy!
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